Thing with Nigeria is sometimes what you want is just to sit still and listen to Ali Farka Toure singing Diarabi, but you are bitter and cannot because in the same country a 7-year old boy was lynched for stealing 20 cents worth of garri this morning.
There’s the weight to the Nigerian reality to which one, aware, dares not be sensitive to, for that would mean an inability to even get out of the door, for in the streets are the people who killed that boy. And you know that beneath their clothes and smiles, they will kill you too just as easy for whatever reason. And nothing will happen.
Why is this so difficult? Because you are certain that you have something intricate to do with these murderers. Because you are certain that you, in your abhorrence, are not exceptional and that it is in fact the measureless inequities of Nigerian society that has made you not them. That has made them them, without the tools with which to feel abhorrence or trauma or pressure or sadness. To say, this is a child, no.
Times like this, I consider exile. But even exile is a cliche of action now. It does not mean what it meant even a generation ago.
And I think of a man, a friend of a friend, whose child had been killed in Zaria who said to me, “Look at how they spoiled my son.” I felt enough to weep the sea.
I can only say what is most useless. Nameless boy, you are at peace now. Rest.